Kansas City offers $2 million to settle overtime lawsuit

Friday, July 25, 2014 | 9:45 a.m. CDT

KANSAS CITY — Kansas City is close to resolving a class action lawsuit that says ambulance workers weren't paid for overtime they worked.

A proposed $2 million settlement was introduced to the Kansas City Council on Thursday, The Kansas City Star reported. Although the finance committee will formally consider it next week, the council verbally authorized the settlement after a closed-door discussion.

Michael Hodgson, one of the attorneys for the 110 plaintiffs, said they're happy about the resolution. A judge still needs to sign off on the settlement.

Former paramedics and EMTs sued the city in 2011 following a merger between the city's fire department and Metropolitan Ambulance Services Trust in 2010. The lawsuit involves former workers who said they worked 24-hour shifts for the fire department.

The workers said Kansas City violated federal law in its overtime pay policies. They said the city didn't pay them for all hours worked that exceeded 40 hours a week.

The city said it believed the workers fell under the firefighter exemption in the Fair Labor Standards Act, meaning they would only be paid overtime after working more than 49 hours a week.

A federal judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and the parties reached an agreement.

The fire department budget will cover $1.3 million. The rest of the money will come from a legal claims fund.


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